UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Brains, genes, and language evolution: A new synthesis

Christiansen, MH; Chater, N; (2008) Brains, genes, and language evolution: A new synthesis. BEHAV BRAIN SCI , 31 (5) 537 - 558. 10.1017/S0140525X08003281. Green open access

[thumbnail of download9.pdf]
Preview
PDF
download9.pdf
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (731kB)

Abstract

Our target article argued that a genetically specified Universal Grammar (UG), capturing arbitrary properties of languages, is not tenable on evolutionary grounds, and that the close fit between language and language learners arises because language is shaped by the brain, rather than the reverse. Few commentaries defend a genetically specified UG. Some commentators argue that we underestimate the importance of processes of cultural transmission; some propose additional cognitive and brain mechanisms that may constrain language and perhaps differentiate humans from nonhuman primates; and others argue that we overstate or understate the case against co-evolution of language genes. In engaging with these issues, we suggest that a new synthesis concerning the relationship between brains, genes, and language may be emerging.

Type: Article
Title: Brains, genes, and language evolution: A new synthesis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X08003281
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X08005281
Language: English
Additional information: © 2008 Cambridge University Press
Keywords: WORKING-MEMORY, SEVERE SPEECH, HYPOTHESIS, ACQUISITION, FREQUENCY, DISORDER, ORIGINS, MINDS, AGE
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/124403
Downloads since deposit
679Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item